AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers
eNNOUNCER May 2012          

eNNOUNCER May 2012


AAPT Announces Donation from PASPO in Support of ComPADRE


The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) has announced the receipt of a generous gift from The Physics Academic Software Publishing Organization (PASPO) to support ComPADRE. This support comes at a critical time for ComPADRE as many years of support from the National Science Foundation will be ending shortly. Read more.


Summer Meeting 2012
          Physics: The Experimental Core


Make your plans now to attend the 2012 AAPT Summer Meeting being held July 28 - August 1 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Summer meeting 2012 in Philadelphiahome of the first great American experimental physicist, Ben Franklin.  The theme of the conference is "Physics: The Experimental Core" and will feature networking opportunities, workshops and presentations by leaders in physics education.
Join us on Monday, July 30 for High School Physics Teacher’s Day, with a special rate available for first time H.S. Teachers.
          Pre and post-conference events include:


Abstracts: are being accepted until Post-deadline abstracts June 15.
Check the AAPT website for registration details.


          Save the Date:
Winter Meeting 2013, January 5-9 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
          Summer Meeting 2013, July 13-17 (Portland, Oregon)

Summer Meeting Awards and Citations


AAPT has announced the winners of the 2012 Summer Meeting Awards and Citations to be presented in Philadelphia, PA, July 28 - August 1.
Distinguished Service Citations: Eugenia Etkina, Jose D. Garcia, Chandralekha Singh
Paul W. Zitzewitz Excellence in Pre-College Teaching Award: Mark D. Greenman
David Halliday and Robert Resnick Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching: Kevin Lee
Robert A. Millikan Medal: Phillip Sadler


Team America Rocketry Challenge Finals


Team America Rocketry ChallengeAAPT will attend this year's Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), the world's largest rocket contest, on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at Great Meadow in The Plains, VA. Approximately 7,000 students from across the nation compete in TARC each year where they design, build and fly a model rocket that reaches a specific altitude and duration.
          The top 100 teams, based on local qualification flights, are invited to the Nation's Capital in May for the national finals.  Prizes include $60,000 in cash and scholarships split between the top 10 finishers.  The contest is designed to encourage students to study math and science and pursue careers in aerospace.
  Learn more about TARC.       


New PhysTEC Sites Announced


AAPT, in conjunction with APS, has completed the site review process and announced that eight new sites have been selected for PhysTEC funding.  The final decision was made by the PhysTEC co-PIs, guided by rankings from the review panel and information gathered from site visits to some of the institutions.  Congratulations to the new PhysTEC funded sites:
          Arizona State University
          California Polytechnic University-Pomona
          Central Washington University
          James Madison University
          University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa
          University of Missouri-Columbia
          University of Wisconsin-La Cross       


Call for AAPT Awards Nominations


Recognize excellence in physics education! The Awards Committee is seeking nominations for all of our awards, citations, and medals. AAPT members are urged to review the descriptions on the AAPT website and then, following instructions, to nominate individuals who should be considered for any of these awards. Nominations remain active for five years.


School Holds Facebook Contest to Select Entry for High School Physics Photo Contest


High School Physics Photo ContestFrancis W. Parker School in Chicago is holding a facebook contest to select an entry for this year's High School Physics Photo Contest. Check out the photos on facebook and 'Like' your favorite.
          The 2012 High School Physics Photo Contest is accepting entries from students in grades 9-12 (or equivalent international grade level) until May 15.
  Submit Yours Online Today!


Is Your Membership Up-to-date?


It may be time to renew and ensure continuity of your benefits, services and valuable AAPT journal content. Log into your member record at AAPT.org, using your ID and password.  You can verify your status from your profile page and use the link provided there to renew.  If you have any questions, or concerns or need further assistance, feel free to contact Member Services at 301-209-3333, or by e-mail at membership@aapt.org.


Graduating this Spring?


Congratulations! Post your resume at the AAPT Career Center.
          Looking to recruit a talented recent graduate? Register with the AAPT Career Center.


Get Connected!


Did you know? AAPT doesn't only have a Facebook and Twitter presence, but we're also on LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Flickr.  Whichever social media outlet you prefer, we are there!  Make sure you Like Us, Friend Us, Follow Us, Connect with Us, Add Us, etc.!
          Google Plus


Workshop on Building a Thriving Undergraduate Physics Program


College Park, Maryland - June 10-12, 2012
          Are you concerned about the number of majors in your department?  Would you like to build a thriving undergraduate program? APS in conjunction with AAPT will be holding a workshop to assist departments in developing strategies for increasing the number of physics majors. Institutions are encouraged to come as teams of two or more to help develop effective, workable plans that can be implemented on their campuses. Plenary speakers Carl Wieman, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and S. James Gates Jr., University of Maryland, will contribute their insights on the topic as well.
          Space is limited and will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early. Details and registration.


Apparatus Competition


The Apparatus Competition was established to recognize, reward, and publicize worthwhile contributions to physics teaching through demonstration and experiment. The Competition is held annually during AAPT's summer meeting and is open to all members. Complete entry materials are due June 15, 2012. More information       


Biennial Physics Department Chairs Meeting


AAPT and APS will be hosting the biennial Physics Department Chairs Meeting June 8-10, 2012 in College Park, MD.  The meeting provides an opportunity for department chairs to learn about recent developments in physics education, research activities, and science funding and to talk with other department chairs about a broad spectrum of physics department issues.  APS will organize an optional Congressional visit day on June 8. The Steering Committee is building the program for this year’s workshop around four major topics:
          Theme: Reshaping the Physics Agenda in the 21st Century

  1. Overcoming the "die or thrive" challenge: What can be done to ensure sustainable, healthy physics enrollments and thriving physics programs in times of budgetary crisis.
  3. Physics Curriculum in the 21st Century: The role of physics within an interdisciplinary, STEM education.  A new look at the overall undergraduate curriculum for physics majors (what to add, what to cut, what to emphasize); what is the canonical physics graduate curriculum, and how to prepare our undergrads for it?
  5. Preparing students for careers in an increasingly global R&D environment.
  7. Connecting with local and regional industry: industry internships for physics majors, alumni outreach, tech transfer, jobs, new problems, online courses for continuing education

Register for the Workshop before May 7.


The Physics EducatorThe Physics Educator


Earlier this year AAPT  introduced an online, members-only site called The Physics Educator (TPE). TPE's mission is to promote interest in and the advancement of physics education at all levels.  At members request new features have been added including a rating system, a forum, and more.  Further suggestions are welcome. Login and try it out.




ACT Test Center @ The Physics Classroom


The Physics Classroom website recently unveiled the ACT Test Center. This section of the website features a collection of reading passages that present data in the form of text, charts, and graphs. The passages are accompanied by questions that target students' ability to read technical information and to reason scientifically. Answers and explanations are provided. Intended to help high school students prepare for the ACT Science Reasoning Test, The Physics Classroom's ACT Test Center is closely aligned with ACT's College Readiness Standards.


Section News


To list your section meeting in the AAPT Calendar of Events, e-mail the information to mgardner@aapt.org. See the December 2011 Section News.


Next Generation Science Standards


The release of the Next Generation Science Standards by Achieve for public review will occur in the next few weeks.  The development of these standards is the first step towards more uniform standards in science and follows the release of the Common Core Standards for math and language arts. The public will only have three weeks to provide feedback on the NGSS.  Anyone interested in providing feedback should read A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas on which the NGSS are based. Download the free Framework.
          AAPT will be providing information about the public feedback process once the standards have been released.


Nominations Open for APS Excellence in Physics Education Award


This award recognizes and honors a team, group of collaborating individuals, or an exceptional single individual, who has exhibited a sustained commitment to excellence in physics education. The application deadline is July 1, 2012. Please consider nominating outstanding candidates, including your own group. Get details.


Spring 2012 SRC Physics Trends Flyers


The AIP Statistical Research Center has published the spring 2012 set of Physics Trends flyers.  This set of flyers depicts:

  • The starting salaries for recent physics bachelor's employed in 6 parts of the economy
  • Women among physics faculty members
  • Science and Engineering Readiness Index for each state

Download the new flyers.


High School Physics Teacher Preparation


The AIP Statistical Research Division has a new study of high school physics teacher preparation and classroom responsibilities.


Read the data. (February 2012)


Award for Improving Undergraduate Physics Education


The American Physical Society's (APS) Committee on Education (COE) seeks to recognize physics departments and /or undergraduate-serving programs in physics that support best practices in education at the undergraduate level.


See the past winners.
          More information.


Gordon Research Conference


Astronomy’s Discoveries and Physics Education is the theme of the 2012 Physics Research and Education Gordon Research Conference. This promises to be one of the best PRE:GRC conferences ever. It will be at Colby College in Waterville, ME, June 17-22. Some 150 speakers and participants will survey remarkable discoveries and technologies of astronomy, astrophysics, and space science and explore their potential for enriching undergraduate physics education. See the conference program. Click "Online Application" and fill out the form.  To ask for funds to help you attend, contact cholbrow@mit.edu. The deadline to apply is May 17.


2012 Modeling Workshops


Fifty Modeling Workshops in high school physics, chemistry, and/or physical science will be held in summer 2012 at sites in approximately 20 states. Modeling Workshops are peer-led. Content is reorganized around basic models to increase its structural coherence. Participants are supplied with a complete set of course materials and work through activities alternately in the roles of student or teacher, as they practice techniques of guided inquiry and cooperative learning.
          Modeling Instruction is one of two K-12 science programs designated by the U.S. Department of Education as EXEMPLARY. Some sites have stipends, usually for in-state teachers. Graduate credit is available at most sites. Pre-service teachers are welcome at most sites. Read online.


ASU Modeling Workshops in Physics, Chemistry, and Physical Science


NEW! TUITION SCHOLARSHIPS are offered for 35 physics teachers nationwide who might not otherwise be able to afford a Modeling Workshop at Arizona State University.  Apply by May 11; get application form from Jane.Jackson@asu.edu. Four 3-week Modeling Workshops (June 11-29, July 2-20) for high school physics, chemistry, and physical science teachers nationwide are offered by Arizona State University in Tempe. The program can lead to a Master of Natural Science degree. Low-cost family housing. Modeling Instruction is designated as an Exemplary K-12 science program by the U.S. Department of Education. Read online.


STARR Noyce Scholarship


The deadline for the STARR Noyce Scholarship is May 7, 2012 for the 2012–2013 academic year.  This year the program provides graduate students in the TEAMS program who are working toward becoming science teachers up to $17K/year per to be put toward academic expenses. Read more and apply here.
          Watch the general introduction video of the NSF-funded Robert Noyce Scholarship Program.


Iowa View: UNI Will Remain Source of Top-Notch Physicists


Recent budget challenges at the University of Northern Iowa have put pressure on many science programs with relatively low graduation rates. Physics initially was one of these, but a remarkable outpouring of support—by UNI faculty and students, by physics alumni and by national leaders in science—saved the most important physics programs, the bachelor of science in physics and the bachelor of arts in physics teaching.
          Read more.


Relationships Between Educational Outcomes and Poverty Webinar


Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET
          Michael Marder, Assoc. Dean for Science and Math Education at UT Austin and co-director of the UTeach program, will discuss the relationship between educational outcomes and poverty concentration, dealing in turn with international comparisons, comparisons between states, and detailed studies of data from his home state of Texas. Monica Plisch, Associate Director of Education at the American Physical Society, will moderate the discussion.
  Register for the webinar.


eCYBERMISSION Opens Online Converstion About STEM in the Classroom


The U.S. Army eCYBERMISSION Program has opened a nationwide online about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) concepts in the classroom. The eCYBERMISSION IDEA eNGINE, a web-based forum also known as crowdsourcing, encourages educators around the country to share ideas and tools on bringing STEM and the eCYBERMISSION Program into the classroom. IDEA eNGINE allows viewers of the website to vote on their favorite concepts and tools from their peers.
          Share ideas and vote.       


Journal of Student Research


Journal of Student Research (JOFSR) has just published its latest issue.
          Visit the web site to review articles and items of interest in this multidisciplinary peer-reviewed Journal.
          If you are willing to become a peer reviewer of the submissions to JOFSR, send an email with your Name, Education Level, Affiliation (Institution), and your choice of Disciplines that identifies reviewing interest to support@jofsr.com.


NASA's Earth Day Video Contest


Everyone knows NASA as the space exploration agency. It's easy to forget that exploring Earth is also exploring a celestial body. It is, in fact, the only planet we've ever been to—our Home Frontier.
          Learn more.




AAPT's eNNOUNCER is a service to members of the American Association of Physics Teachers and is produced by the AAPT Executive Office.  Other stories of significance appear in our Announcements Archive and our archive of Press Releases. E-mail suggestions, news items, comments, and unsubscribe requests to: aapt-news@aapt.org.
        Deliverability of this publication depends on your e-mail address being current. If you have recently changed providers, jobs, or schools, please update your profile online at aapt.org as soon as possible. Adding AAPT-News@aapt.org to your address book will also help ensure that your copy is delivered to your mailbox.


Advertising and Archiving
See our Media Kit for advertising information or email mmormile@aip.org. All eNNOUNCER issues are archived and information about AAPT publications is online.

Note on External Links
Links to non-AAPT sites are intended as a service to readers interested in AAPT, physics, and education. These links do not reflect an endorsement of any content or product. Also, due to the evolving nature of websites, some external links referenced in the eNNOUNCER may expire over time.

Thanks for your readership and your support of AAPT.


Copyright © 2012, American Association of Physics Teachers


In this issue

  • Award Winners
  • TARC Finals
  • PhysTEC Sites
  • AAPT Awards
  • Photo Contest
  • Membership
  • Career Center
  • Social Media
  • Workshop
  • Apparatus Competition
  • Dept. Chairs Workshop
  • The Physics Educator
  • ComPADRE
  • Section News

Featured Journal Articles


The Physics Teacher


Fizz-ball Fizzics
                                Read online


American Journal of Physics


Computing accurate age and distance factors in cosmology
                              Read online


Are you receiving your journals online?


A free e-mail alerting service is available for the American Journal of Physics (AJP)  and The Physics Teacher (TPT). By subscribing to this service, you will receive table of contents alerts as new journal issues are published.


Sign up today!






Members in
the News


'God Particle' Physicist Honored by NSF
The NSF will honor Leon Lederman
on May 3rd with the Vannevar Bush Award in recognition of a lifetime of achievement.


Read online


GBHS Teacher Cundiff Receives $1,000 Grant
                                Susan Cundiff, a Physics and Chemistry teacher at Gulf Breeze High School, received a $1,000 Science Teaching Tools Award grant from the Blue Angels Pensacola Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA).


Read online


Physics Teacher Among 11 Utah Educators Earning Prestigious Huntsman Awards
Students, parents and teachers nominated David Morrill,  a physics teacher at Jordan High School, for inspiring students to find meaning in physics.


Read online


Physics Store Features


Teaching About Impulse and Momentum


The Flying Circus of Physics


Reduced during May




The Part I Hate


Drawing Theories Apart


Reduced during May

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us
on Twitter

Join us on Facebook

Join us on